Wall Street tumbles, spooked by growth and trade worries

Wall Street tumbled more than 3 percent on Tuesday, led lower by bank and industrial shares, as the U.S. bond market sent unsettling signs about economic growth and investors worried anew about global trade.

A prominent Federal Reserve official’s comments about the path of interest rate hikes added to the uncertainty for investors, as did setbacks for Britain’s plans to leave the European Union.

The S&P 500 .SPX posted its biggest single-day percentage drop in about two months, giving back some gains from Monday and a week earlier, when the benchmark index tallied its largest weekly percentage gain in nearly seven years.

The small-cap Russell 2000 dropped 4.4 percent, its biggest one-day plunge in more than seven years.

Investors were focused on U.S. Treasury yields, where the benchmark 10-year yield fell to its lowest point since mid-September. The spread between the 10-year yield over its two-year counterpart also shrank to the smallest in over a decade, a closely watched signal because a so-called yield curve “inversion,” when the two-year yields more than the 10-year bond, preceded all the recessions of the past 50 years.
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